I dream of lost things. The old and forgotten that live in the backs of wardrobe, hidden behind tables and swept under beds. The memories pile up on shelves and between books and on countertops. They overflow at the seams, peeking out from their hiding spots and reminding me of days long gone and people all but forgotten. I am reminded of days when I laughed until I cried and of days when I cried until I laughed, of firsts and lasts, of goodbyes and hellos. Nostalgia runs thick like blood through my house, creeping its way through every crack and crevice, making its home in the walls and under the floorboards. A photo here, an album there, an old pendent, a key, a letter. I am reminded of people whose faces are faded and blurry but who’s pictures are clear and bright and smiling, of days that run into one another and of nights so great I can’t remember them. My house is built from fractured memories and splintered stories that sulk around darkened corner and dance over my pillow at night, and as I lay down to sleep, lost things settle down and build homes in my mind.
I see shattered hearts and shattered glass and window panes streaked with rain from the departing storm. The old worn paths we used to walk are gone now, overgrown and forgotten and all I want is to remember the feeling of when we were young and I saw fireworks in your eyes and nothing could stand in our way. These days I drink my coffee alone and wake up in a cold bed and I tell myself our stories to get me though the day and I hope that I made a difference in your life or that sometimes I cross your mind because we were beautiful together and I struggle every day to adjust to a life without you. I don’t sleep well anymore because when I close my eyes, you’re there, and I’m staring at your back again but no matter how fast I run you’re out of reach. I remember the arguments and the late nights waiting at home alone when you never called and falling asleep at the dinner table next to a plate of food slowly growing cold, but I still miss you because I searched for meaning where there was none and I saw love that had been used up and dried out long before I met you and I thought you were the world, but I was foolish and I looked at you like a child looks at the stars in the sky and I reached for you but you were distant and cold and watched as I fell, tripping over my own feet to get to you. Occasionally I walk the paths we used to follow and visit the places we used to call ours and I think about what we could have been, but we were destined to go our separate ways and I will learn to live without you and one day in the future I will remember you and what we were and smile fondly at our memory, and the gaping cavity in my heart you left behind will heal and one day, I know, I will be whole again.
Daily Prompt: But No Cigar
Black ink meets white paper but the words won’t flow. I stare at the page in front of me. My hands, frozen. I can’t write, I can’t think, I can’t see. My mind becomes the white of the page. A white noise, a white world, and a white taste that lingers on the tip of my tongue threatening to sweep me away in a wave of white. The words stumble and trip out of my mind, broken and messy, spilling out onto the page in fractured sentences and incoherent thoughts. The once neat lines of script turn into a sloppy storm of black characters, marching their way to madness across the page and through my head. The white walls of the page crush down on me and the words fall lifeless at my fingertips as the sentences fail to form properly and my mind runs thick like syrup.
I sink further and further into the sickly, sweetness of nostalgia and I stop fighting the oncoming waves, instead facing them with open arms and letting them whisk me further out to sea, and as I give up desperately fishing for the next verse, the letters swim into words and sentences and paragraphs and when I look up from my daze the once blank paper in front of me is now filled with ink dancing and winding its way around the whiteness. A weight lifts and the white walls retreat, leaving only the thoughts that now flow in a steady stream from my fingertips. Black ink once again meets white paper but this time I do not stutter, instead I write.
My favorite color is gray. Gray, like the mist that rolls into the hills and settles down outside my window on cold foggy days. Gray is the color of hazy shapes and blurred vision, of people feeling their way aimlessly through familiar landscapes that unexpectedly transformed into strange, unknown territories sometime during the night.
Gray was the color of his eyes in the wintertime when the bright blue faded away. His eyes were the color of regret and boredom after he realized something that was once there had been lost, something that no one noticed until it was gone, a spark, and with it gone, so was he.
Gray is the avoidance of conflict, the color of opinion and disagreement, of hard choices and negotiation, of understanding that the line between right and wrong is blurred and crooked and trampled by mistakes and missteps and misfortunes.
Gray is the color of raw emotion and painful numbness and water as it flows over rocks washing away the dirt and filth that builds up over time. Gray is the color of the sky and the ground and the backs of my eyelids. It is the color I see, the color I hear, the color I feel and as I make my way though this gray existence, I am reminded of dusty gray houses and low hanging skies, of winding asphalt roads and faded gray lives.
I am a smoker because one day, a boy with brown hair and blue eyes sitting against a tree in the woods offered me a cigarette and I didn’t say no.
I am a smoker because smoking is more socially acceptable than cutting and I used to be a cutter.
I am a smoker because the smoke helps me breath, the smoke helps me think, the smoke helps me clear my head of all the clutter that builds up over time.
I am a smoker because the future terrifies me and painting my lungs black with disease seemed like a better option.
I am a smoker because I give in too easily to my emotions, to my old habits, to my private fears.
I am a smoker because enough will never be enough and letting go is never what it seems.
In response to the Daily Post’s prompt: Enough Is Enough
It’s easy to fall. It starts slow, with a slip or a misstep, and then a stumble, and I try to catch myself but I lose my footing and the ground crumbles out from under me and I’m falling. It comes to the point when I don’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore. My actions and words are foreign and I watch as I spiral further down, trying desperately not to lose control, but the more I fight back, the more tangled I become, and I’m caught, running like a fool in a maze with no end.
It’s easy to fall, and once falling, it’s hard to stop. It’s hard to climb and scratch and claw my way back to the surface and I don’t want to, until I’m sitting at the bottom of a hole I dug myself into looking up at what once was but isn’t anymore. I realize I like falling. I like the feeling of recklessness and impulsive decisions, until I see my reflection in the eyes of a friend, or a family member, or a kind stranger, and what I see is not me.
It’s easy to fall, it’s the impact that hurts the most. The moment when I hit the bottom, when I look around and see the mess I’ve made and the people I’ve dislodged and brought crashing down with me as I haphazardly grabbed at anything that I thought would make the landing more bearable. But the landing was not more bearable and I realize I can’t fall anymore, but I’ve said that before and I’ll say it again, and I falter and hesitate as I pick myself up off the ground watching the sunrise as it sheds new light on my existence and in this instant, all is right in the world.
In response to the Daily Post’s Prompt: Easy Fix.
Pleased to Meet You: Write a post in which the protagonists of two different books or movies meet for the first time. How do they react to each other? Do they get along?
My cheeks are red from being outside but I’m not outside anymore and I’m not sure when I came in. I’m sitting in the corner of the room watching things move. Everything moves slow, so slow it disappears. I can’t keep track of them anymore. A man in a hat was sitting with me but then he wasn’t and now he is again. I don’t look at him just in case he’s not really there. I’m afraid he’s not really there.
“Are you Alice?”, the man in the hat asks. It’s funny that he would ask that because Alice is a girl’s name and I’m not a girl.
“No, I’m Charlie. You’re not real, the dragon outside wasn’t real either. Am I going mad?”
“We’re all mad here, Alice.”, the man in the hat says smiling. Then he disappears and I’m walking now but I don’t remember getting up. I remember not wanting to be in the house anymore with Sam and Craig and Patrick and Brad in the other rooms, and the walls were too thin so I left but it’s cold outside.
I wonder where the man in the hat went.
Characters are Charlie from the Perks of Being a Wallflower and the Mad Hatter from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Loosely based on the scene in the Perks of Being a Wallflower in which Charlie is given something that causes him to hallucinate.
She looked at him. She stared for an isolated eternity squeezed into a fleeting moment until he met her gaze and she looked away, breaking the eternity and resuming a dull reality.
He was everything to her, and that was frightening. To trust, so freely, another human being was maddening when she knew the ending to every story lay in abandonment, in heartache, in pain, in solitude. She had experienced it. She had felt the sting of misplaced trust, but for now she pushed those feelings aside into the dark most corners of her mind.
For now, she was infatuated with a boy. A boy who made her laugh until she couldn’t breath, who made her cry because she knew he would leave. A boy whose words crept into every corner of her mind and drove her mad. A boy whose flaws shaped and molded a new definition of perfection in her eyes. And to her, he was a sunrise, promising to shed a new light onto her existence. The light that would keep her afloat until the nightfall when she would be plunged back into darkness darker than anything she could remember from before he came into her world.
She memorized the movement of his hands when he talked and the freckles that dotted his face. She knew his crooked smile and the color of his eyes. She knew him, and she was caught. Caught in his game of cruel consideration that threatened to sweep over her like a wave and pull her under and as he glanced away from her, she looked back at him.
In response to the Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Connect the Dots“.
Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.
In these bright lights live darkened minds,
They leave their black flowers behind.
Protruding ribs meet collar bones,
Storm clouds reside inside my lungs.
Paper cheeks and cold stone eyes,
The telltale signs we cannot hide.
The boys whose names have been left out,
The lies that fell from open mouths.
Spider webs like battle scars,
Shoot loving daggers through the heart.
Beauty takes a leap of faith,
In hopeless search for fresh escape.
I am drawn to that which seems,
Will be the certain death of me.
i lose myself in pain, and discomfort, and the seconds right before i fall when time stands still. i lose myself in the moments when i’m at the edge looking down and nothing is standing between me and the exit, when my knees shudder and my stomach lurches and i feel my mind go numb and in these moments i come undone.
i find myself in the pockets of calm, in the moment after the chaos, when i’ve stood right at the edge and not gone over. i find myself in the light after the storm when the pressure subsides and everything is cast with a new shade of gold. i find myself in the emotions that wash away the numbness, in the beauty i see when the anxiety dies down, in the promise of tomorrow and the day after that. i find myself in the forsaken footsteps i left behind when i ran from the future, and in the forgotten memories and faded words and in these moments i come undone.
side note: recently i’ve been listening to adam barnes obsessively on repeat. i love his music and was inspired by his song “come undone” to write this post about what coming undone means to me.